What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of temporary brain injury that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. In many cases, people who suffer from a concussion don’t show external signs of head trauma. And in many cases, those who suffer from this brain injury never lose consciousness.

Although it’s more common among athletes, anyone can get a concussion through falls, fights, bike accidents, and car crashes. In sports, it’s more common in those who are into football, boxing, soccer, skiing, snowboarding, and hockey.

Symptoms of Concussion

It’s not always easy to know if someone suffers from concussion as mild injuries to the brain are not always observable in routine neurological examinations. Plus, a person who suffers from concussion doesn’t necessarily have to pass out or lose consciousness.

The symptoms of concussion could vary. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. It may last for hours, days, weeks, or months.

Some of the most common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Inability to concentrate or think clearly
  • Difficulty in remembering new information
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Vision problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Impaired balance
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of smell or taste

Young children suffering from concussions can have these symptoms too. However, it can be difficult to tell at times.

A child who suffer from any of the following after a fall or accident should be seen by a doctor immediately: crying more than the usual, more temper tantrums, and changes in the way he/she does the usual day-to-day activities such as eating, sleeping, and playing. These could indicate a concussion.

Diagnosing Concussions

A thorough physical examination helps in determining a concussion. When a patient is suspected of having a concussion, the doctor will ask questions to test one’s ability to pay attention and retain memories. He/she may also conduct tests to check on one’s strength, coordination, balance, sensation, and reflexes.

In some cases, the doctor may order tests such as MRI or CT scan to make sure that the brain is neither bleeding or bruising.

How It Is Treated

Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion. Some people may feel normal again for a few hours after the trauma while others may still have the symptoms for weeks or months.

After a concussion, the doctor may advise to avoid activities that are physically or mentally demanding until one feels better. Pain medicines may also be prescribed to help in managing the discomfort.